A recent New York Times Magazine article celebrated the long lives of the inhabitants of Ikaria, a Greek island 30 miles off the western coast of Turkey. According writer Dan Buettner, Ikarians regularly live healthy, active, productive lives well into their 90s. Ikarians reach the age of 90 at two and a half times the rate that Americans do. Moreover, it is an ordinary thing to see individuals living vitally to a 100 years of age. As one islander put it, “We just forget to die!”
There is no one reason why so many Ikarians live to ripe-old-age, according to Buettner, but there are a whole series of factors that clearly have an impact on local longevity. Besides perfect weather and a pure water source, the island's chief assets are its isolation and dietary habits. According to Dr. Leriadis, an island physician, people on Ikaria don’t live by a clock. They stay up late, wake up late, and always take naps. And, the basic Ikarian diet is made up of fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, coffee and wine.
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